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    First look on the suicidal squad and their new look.

La Boheme on its Limited Engagement

“How can you measure the life of a woman or man?
In truths that she learned, or in times that he cried. In bridges he burned, or the way that she died.”

Quoted from Larson’s Musical Rent that told a story of several New Yorkers trying to survive the city life despite the hardship and grief caused by physical, emotional and social disease. This musical won a Tony award not only because of the musical and theatrical success but also it succeed to touch the hearts of everyone through its music and dialogues. Little thing we know that this musical is based on a 19th century opera love story.

Rent is based on Giacomo Puccini’s opera La Boheme which is first staged way back in 1896 of February 1st. It tells the story of Rodolfo (Gary Del Rosario, Juan Alberto Gaerlan and Dondi Ong) and Mimi (Jennifer Uy and Maribel Miguel) as they strive to live in a city of opportunities while the friendship, ambitions, dreams and love grows between the cast. Rodolfo also is left with a puzzle whether he stays with Mimi despite the fact that he doesn’t have the capabilities of helping her on her illness forcing himself to push her away. Philippine Orchestra Company in cooperation of The Cultural Center of the Philippines and with the direction of acclaimed musical, concert and stage director Floy Quintos, transposed La Boheme to a modern day setting with independent artist searching their way through the busy and ravenous society while putting the Love story juxtaposed against a vivacious and emotional indie art scene.

If you are a Rent fan, you will surely see all the similarities both on characters and story. The poetic Rodolfo became the rocker Roger Davis, his friend painter Marcello is transformed into the filmmaker Mark Cohen, Muzetta the singer became Maureen Johnson, Schaunard the musician sheds his manliness to the character of a gay drag queen, Angel Dumott Schunard, Colline the Philosopher stayed a Philosophy junkie as Tom Collins, Alcindro the state councilor became the lawyer Joanne Jefferson, Benoit the Landlord became the turncoat of alphabet city Benny Coffin III and Mimi the seamstress retains her name but instead of having a Tubercolosis, Mimi in Rent is a Heroin addict and HIV positive. Some scenes are also similar like the first time Rodolfo and Mimi met each other with the candle and the scene where Mimi discovers why Rodolfo is pushing her away just to name a few. But despite all the similarities, we can say that Rent is more liberated trying to tackle issues regarding AIDS, Homosexuality, Drug Addiction, Prostitution and Poverty while La Boheme centers its plot in Rodolfo and Mimi’s love story while discussing the extended cast’s struggle to live in a city affecting their dreams and friendship.

Both musical had given their worth on the scene giving us a visual of our everyday life. As I recount every scene, I’m not ashamed to say that a tear or two fell from my eyes.

POC have assembled a great array of performers with a vibrant cast including tenors Juan Alberto Gaerlan, Dondi Ong and Seattle Opera based Gary del Rosario debut as Rodolfo. Sopranos Jennifer Uy and Maribel Miguel make their debut as Mimì while sopranos Ana Feleo and Elaine Lee play Muzetta. Baritones Lawrence Jatayna and Jesus Baang plays Marcello, Joseleo Logdat and John Campos plays Colline and Schaunard respectively. Playing the music is the magnificent Philharmonic Orchestra and Director Floy Quintos will direct this opera to be performed in its original Italian language.

La Boheme will start playing Today October 3 and will be having two other performance in October 4 and 5. All will start at 8pm at the CCP main theater. For tickets, block sales and sponsorship please contact Philippine Opera Company at 892-878.

Don’t miss the chance to witness this opera. The greatest Love story ever sung.

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